St. Joseph County officials give update to COVID-19 response ahead of holiday weekend

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—St. Joseph County officials including Deputy Health Officer Mark Fox, County Commissioner President Andy Kostielney, local COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Rea and South Bend Mayor James Mueller on Thursday gave an update to the local COVID-19 response.

Fox said that as of Thursday, there are 1,852 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in St. Joseph County and 77 deaths in the county, 74 being among county residents.

Individuals under age 60 make up the majority of cases in the county, according to Fox.

There has been an increase in cases in the young adult category locally but “not quite to the level” of other areas, Fox said.

Fox also said that there has been a slight recent uptick in current COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the county. As of Thursday, 20 confirmed cases and 23 patients “under investigation” are hospitalized.

The average wait time on COVID-19 test in the county is 2.2 days.

“We’re pleased to see that the governor has pumped the breaks on the back on track plan,” Fox said.

Fox reminded residents about the face mask mandate in St. Joseph County that will be in place until at least September 7.

Fox also urged physical distancing and use of face coverings during any Fourth of July celebrations.

“Even if you’re well under the 250 limit for gatherings, if you’re coming from different households, you have to maintain social distancing,” Mueller said. “You don’t want your party to turn into your friends, families and loved ones coming down with this terrible disease.”

Mueller also said that concerns have been posed to officials recently regarding the rescheduling of Best.Week.Ever, a week-long celebration of South Bend. The mayor said the situation will be monitored as to ensure that the event can take place safely.

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